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The Professional Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Variety Lisa Nesselson

    Widescreen lensing favors tight close-ups, and multiple shoot-'em-ups are edited with panache.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Besson has a natural gift for plunging into drama with a charged-up visual style.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Time Richard Schickel

    This is a Cuisinart of a movie, mixing familiar yet disparate ingredients, making something odd, possibly distasteful, undeniably arresting out of them. [5 Dec 1994, p. 93]

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    With some surprisingly strong character interaction, there's a lot to like about this movie, at least for those willing to look beyond all the bloodshed.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Ah, monsieur, you can lead a Frenchman to the Big Apple, but you can't make him a New Yorker -- and that's exactly what makes The Professional so fascinating.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Stylish, mature hitman thriller is quite violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action thriller includes some scenes of extreme violence, including one in which a family -- including a 4-year-old boy -- is brutally gunned down in their home. There are also explosions, abuse (of a 12-year-old), and more. The 12-year-old girl develops an unusual relationship with a much older hitman (who teaches her his trade); there's an undercurrent of chemistry between them. Strong language includes "f--k" and "bitch"; characters also drink and smoke.

  • Families can talk about how the media tends to portray "good guys" and "bad guys." Are real people either all bad or all good -- or is it more complicated than that? How do you feel about the movies' tendency to portray gangsters' and criminals' "sensitive side"? Does that excuse their bad behavior?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Characters on both sides of the law engage in criminal or immoral behavior, including killing, drug dealing, and mob activity. The main character, a hitman, is portrayed as an otherwise caring soul who tries to rise to the challenge when he must protect a little girl. Law-enforcement characters are portrayed as crooked and more morally bankrupt than the film's criminals.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Graphic violence throughout, including murder, shooting, explosions. A knife is held to a man's throat; people have guns pointed at them or held to them. A man who's been badly wounded in a shootout launches grenades strapped to his body, causing a massive explosion that kills both him and his nemesis. A little girl is abused (slapped, hit) by members of her family. She is seen with a black eye and a bloody nose. While standing in the shower, a man stitches up a bloody wound on his chest.

  • sex false0

    Sex: At times there's a rather creepy undercurrent of sexual chemistry between a grown man and a young girl. When a hotel desk clerk asks her about her male guardian, she lies, saying, "He's my lover."

  • language false5

    Language: Many uses of words like "f--k," ass, and "bitch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Various characters drink, smoke, and take drugs. Kilos of cocaine are shown. A 12-year-old girl is seen smoking cigarettes.